Can you die of lysol poisoning

BY ALBERT STEFFENS CHRIST EXPERIENCE IN THE ETHERIC AREA * «Without me you cannot do anything» (Joh. 15, 5) Angela Matile

Transcript

1 BY ALBERT STEFFENS CHRIST EXPERIENCE IN THE ETHERIC AREA * “You cannot do anything without me” (Joh. 15, 5) Angela Matile “You ask about the difference between knowledge and art, which draw from the same source of the spirit. Instead of a lengthy explanation, let me tell you about an entertaining experience. When I came home from the eurythmy trip, I was delighted by the two birch trees that stand in front of the entrance to our house. Their green leaves around the silver-white trunks had turned gold, and the sparrow that twittered in the branches shimmered in the sunset. So I wrote a poem about the phoenix. A researcher should never do this. The poet who does it still remains true. " 1 The aperçu succinctly characterizes how an artist necessarily takes a different path than the scientist in his creations, since the former - cum grano salis, let it be said - is closer to experience, to the latter, to thinking contemplation. For the poet, the phenomenon becomes immediately a simile of a heightened - spiritual - reality, while the researcher places the phenomenon itself in the center of his interest. This indicates the area in which Steffen's work is rooted, but at the same time also one of the main causes * Slightly revised reprint of the first in the anthology "Ways to Christ Experience" (= Das Ätherische Christus-Wirken, Vol. III), Dornach 1991 , P. 221ff., Published article. We thank the publishing house at the Goetheanum for the permission to reprint this. 1 From: All kinds of records. In: Nachrichtenblatt 22 (1945), S The text goes back to a diary entry from

2 touches that makes it seem strangely different to some readers. This difference is easily overlooked and its significance is neglected, especially in the humanities. But since it is of such fundamental importance for the understanding of Steffen's creations, it will be good if the poet expresses himself on it at the beginning. In his first essay - he had previously mainly published novels, short stories and two dramas - he draws attention to the fact that he has now described something in terms (i.e. as a scientific thinker) that he could also have represented as a picture, in colors, Shapes and movements. «Not that such a picture should be derived from thoughts. That would be an allegory. No, the artistic experience precedes the scientific, not afterwards. An artist never translates a knowledge into a tone or a color, but receives his inspiration primarily. " 2 Or in a small consideration with the significant title «Art and science meet»: «Goethe repeatedly points out that the sciences start from the general and approach the particular, while the arts take the opposite path. As long as scientists and artists do not admit their methods to each other, they will not understand each other, let alone encourage each other, but rather strive for one another or are at odds with one another. " In the following, Steffen describes the procedure of the natural sciences and how these actually require the addition of a science of the spirit. By now such a 2 The Crisis in the Life of the Artist, (1922) 2nd ed., Zurich-Leipzig 1925, S cf. note below

Looking at man, she finds what distinguishes him from other beings, the I, which each person can only express for himself. Freedom is decided in the self. Here begins the philosophy of freedom 3. With the ability of intuition on the knowledge side and moral imagination on the will side. The thinker suddenly became an artist. But the artist comes from a different direction. As a person, with his individual talent, which makes him a poet, painter, musician, etc., he grasps the motive given to fate, which is always experienced in the ego, that is, something personal, but in a higher sense, so that it is not subjective needs, but can be objective; he leads the [special] case to a human goal, through a crisis, a purification, a restoration. 4 [...] Natural science is guided by its methods both to the gate of the sub- and supersensible as well as to the threshold of the super- and sub-human. And both worlds only become accessible in a secure way through knowledge which can shine into the essential nature of the phenomena of the external world and the forces of the organ world. This is only possible in the humanities. Through the areas that it has reclaimed, the one against the sensory side and the one against the will side, contemporary art has, as never before, become capable of expansion and deepening. Whoever walks the path of spiritual knowledge, which is general and accessible to everyone, has a wealth of previously unknown experiences that immediately call for the original artist. The newly researched areas of experience have made their task much more difficult and responsible than before. He has to undergo double training. On the one hand against the senses, whose impressions he morally shapes, on the other hand against the will, which he 3 Note Albert Steffens: "See Rudolf Steiner's so titled work". Cf. also Goetheanum 70 (1991), pp. 269f., Steffen's diary note from August 5th Cf. as an example the small myth of "Workers, Soldiers and Scholars", in: The Artist Between West and East, Zurich-Leipzig 1925 , P. 13ff., Where the process: crisis - purification - restoration can be read off in the stated sense. 3

4 purifies. Here by overcoming the instincts, there by animating the forms. It is important to survive a two-front break in the soul. Through these exercises the artist has already entered the methods of training the mind. He becomes a researcher, just as the latter becomes an artist. Both meet and challenge each other. A high goal is achieved when artists and researchers find each other in a person. " 5 If the poet now writes a poem about the phoenix, but the researcher sees two gold-leafed birches with a sparrow, the sober observer will have to ask the question, which of the two is closer to reality. And if one wants to admit truth to the poet, it must be sought in the supersensible, for the phoenix bird has its home in the mythical. Steffen has faced the problem in detail and describes it using three painters - Cézanne, Hodler and Munch - and a naturalist: “These artists do not need to claim to paint anything other than what they see. The carpet of senses is viewed differently in everyone and yet not broken through in any of them, at least not in their early days. Let us introduce these pictures to the botanist of that era. He says with his eye: You see something that remains invisible to me. And he can be confronted with a dilemma. For either, he has to admit, they see reality correctly or I see it. Mostly he will calm himself down with it and say that they are only showing appearances, are fooling themselves and others, playing sloppiness, etc. Or else he feels that he is missing something, that his eyes are dead and the world is a corpse. That can frighten him. Because if he wants to affirm himself, he must deny the other. He is faced with the question of whether he should consider himself void as a researcher or the artist as a liar. Am I or he a ghost? It is a transgression of death. 5 Rebirth of the beautiful sciences, Dornach 1946, p. 16ff .: "Art and science meet". Now also in: ALBERT STEFFEN, Art as a way to initiation, Fischer Tb., Frankfurt 1984, p. 22ff. 4th

5 threshold that is only ignored because this life experience is not taken seriously. Even if the artist sees what remains invisible to the natural scientist, he by no means needs to perceive the supersensible. This is perhaps concealed from him precisely because he looks more sensual. But the reason why he does not break through the carpet of senses is because of his love. In order to attest to the invisible that the scientific observer sees ad oculus demonstrated (if he endures that shock and takes it as an opportunity to see something other than the dead, which up to now was the only reality he could grasp), he would have to [the artist] to take the method from that person into himself and apply it, that is, he would have to distance himself from his painterly-looking sensory organization, consciously extinguish everything his artistic eye sees, take part in the natural scientific dying process in his own perception. Most painters avoid this. Because they fear that they will lose their color strength in the process. But nature naturally ensures that death also enters the artist's eye. This is because it is in the advancement of humanity in general. " Steffen now describes the painter's passage through inner death and how afterwards “something that lay behind dying penetrates the surface of the picture”: “His ordinary memory had been riddled with holes because he, the artist, like the natural scientist, who only saw and perceived the dead. Now he saw the supernatural shining in through his painter's eye, which was dead but risen again. For the natural scientist who looks at the world artistically, the carpet of senses can be broken. For the artist who scientifically explores his inner being, the memory wall. That is to say, the supersensible becomes perceptible in this way after the lease of space and time, to the extent that it sends its effects into the world of the senses. 5

6 The cosmos opens up more to one, more to fate for the other. " 6 Isn't Steffen basically describing the relationship between the scientist and the artist in such a way that both go a way beyond their conditionality, to a certain extent through a psychological experience of death and thereby reach a spiritual realm that can confidently be called that of religious experience? This is an example of how he presents the three areas of human spiritual life - art, science and religion - as a matter of course, and thus shows that his poetic primal impulse to bring these three to a synthesis and to place them on the basis of the great ideas of humanity 7, is immanent to his ego 8. This also fulfills the prerequisite that a new art growing on this basis is spiritually true, beautiful and good, that is, constructive, in the literal sense therapeutically - "therapeu-ein" means "cure" or "to preside over a cult" - will be. On the motive for life Now Steffen, who has made the above quoted word from the Gospel of John, "You can do nothing without me", as the basis of his work 9, about the ethereal experience of Christ, as Rudolf Steiner did in his lecture on etherization des Blutes describes - as far as I can see so far - only expressis verbis uttered in two essays. 10 Nor does he describe an appearance in them, but tells of ways that lead to such an appearance. It cannot be overlooked that he is speaking from innermost experience. 6 Geistige Heimat, Dornach 1941, p. 40ff. From your essay: "The bridge between actual science and the works of human creative imagination." 7 Cf. «My decision to live» in: Das Albert Steffen book. For the 60th birthday. Basel 1944, S That could be shown in countless other passages of all genres in his work. 9 It can be found directly addressed in: From the portfolio of a ghost seeker, Dornach 1951, S Illness not to death, (1955) Dornach 1970, S Thirty-three years, Dornach 1959, S In: Buch der Rückschau, (1938) Dornach 1976, p : «The suffering station of the human mind at the breakthrough of the new Christ impulse», and in: Spiritual knowledge / God's love. Dornach 1949, p. 35ff .: "The living Goethe and the ethereal experience of Christ". 6th

In the following considerations, the attempt should be made in the following considerations to try to feel for its roots, to trace its development in order to find out Steffen's method. Imagine how Steffen came to Dornach at the age of thirty-five on July 24, 1920, was editor of the weekly Das Goetheanum from 1921 and followed Rudolf Steiner's work in the last years of his life. From September 1922 the so-called third theological course was held, which led to the establishment of the Christian community. Among others, Friedrich Rittelmeyer is there and carries out the first act of consecration, from the course of which Steffen now records an experience in his diary with remarkably simple objectivity: «16. September (12 noon) Today the first act of consecration took place on earth out of the Spirit, with the risen Christ present. Rittelmeyer performed it on 12 people. [...] The action started at 10½. I can say that Christ was there, because when the word of bread and wine was spoken I saw his risen body of light-life. It is the first time that I saw Christ as a being before me. The arms were outstretched and the head was illuminated. And then I experienced that he healed and sanctified. He was there and is there. This certainty makes me his herald. " 11 He sees him for the first time "as a being", as a figure, so he knows other manifestations. This is also indicated by the statement: "He was there and is there." To understand this, it is necessary to look at a central event at the end of his twenty-first year that confronted him with the question of "to be or not to be" as an individuality. 11 Previously unpublished. Further notes by Steffen on the first act of consecration are printed in the appendix to this article. - See GERHARD KLEIN, "Beim Schicksal zu Gast", Stuttgart 1972, the story "Der Fischmeister". 7th

8 When Steffen came to the cosmopolitan city of Berlin in 1906 to study history, philosophy and sociology, he had his first novel, "Ott, Alois and Werelsche", in his pocket, the story of a friendship between three young men who went through some errors and despair to find their motive for life. It is now as if the overwhelming impressions of the big city presented him with a test so that what he had created in his first work might be preserved. «In order to penetrate life in all abysses, I quartered myself in an alley where misery and squalor reigned. My room faced a back courtyard, into which the doors of a gloomy dive bar opened. At night the hoots and screams of the inmates kept coming up to me. I didn't see what I heard because I never went into the tavern. Precisely for that reason, however, that sphere might affect me. On a November evening this effect condensed into an essential, harrowing image. With full consciousness, with the most free judgment, I watched as a mental figure, composed of desire, the urge to destroy, and sore self-torment, rose from the court, which was narrow and black, and penetrated me with a death sigh. From this inner sound I heard the downfall of the soul. It was like a cry for help, a clinging, a will to strangle, like a vehemently urging admonition to find the word of redemption. " 12 Here he not only experiences the spiritual and spiritual nature of those people in the tavern, but also that of humanity to which he himself belongs, and comes to 12 encounters with Rudolf Steiner, (1926/1955) Dornach 1975, p on the "Word of Redemption" : KARL FRIEDRICH ALTHOFF (in: Das Vaterunser, Stuttgart, 1978, p. 99) explains the term in the last petition of the «Our Father», «and deliver us from evil», as follows: «Flowing, ordered movement may us out of the spell to deliver from evil, to redeem. In the flowing, ordered movement, the bondage in space and time is overcome. " Steffen already lets his Werelsche struggle for this word (Ott, Alois and Werelsche, [1907], Dornach 1987, p. 315f.). "Redemption" itself already occupies him in grammar school in connection with Rousseau (cf. ALBERT STEFFEN, autobiographical sketch, in: Albert Steffen, Zum 50th Birthday. Albert Steffen-Heft of the magazine "Anthroposophie", Stuttgart, December 10, 1934, P. 30). He was therefore aware of man's being bound to the earthly long before the four-animal experience. 8th

9 to a self-knowledge that can hardly be more terrible. Much later he called this structure the “four animals” and describes it more precisely 13: “We are able to develop self-knowledge to such a degree that we see our inner human being as the only being. This being, which appears to us in the picture, has no resemblance to the external physical form. It appears to us, even with physical perfection, as something completely different. We recognize in it the aberrations to the left, to the right and to the rear, [...] and indeed we are able to recognize the character of these aberrations much better in this picture than in the mental representations. We see the aberrations to the left as a bull and those to the right as a lion.The one to the rear as a dragon and the striving forwards as an eagle. These are the main types of pictorial forms we see. In reality there are many more, and one blends into the other. It is an ongoing agility. Sometimes the animal forms fight each other, sometimes they run peacefully side by side. Sometimes they flare up red, sometimes they turn pale blue. Soon one swells to a giant size and the other collapses into a tiny dot. This image is of a different kind in every human being. [...] The original form of the human interior is the sphinx. It has a human head, lion paws, a bull's body, eagle wings and a worm-like end. [...] This monstrosity, a sign of stray from the image of the deity, according to which we are, as Genesis says, transformed, must be transformed when we see our destiny, which is us in the beauty of the outer body, as a sign want to meet the promise to meet. " 14 The "Viergetier" has its origin in the Fall. In it the consequences of all aberrations of the ego from its God-created archetype appear and form the various animals, which then act as “counter-images” in a lecture in October 1920 during a university week at the Goetheanum. Printed in: Die Krisis im Leben des Künstler, (1922) 2nd edition, Zurich-Leipzig 1925 (title article), S Now also in: ALBERT STEFFEN, Art as a way to initiation. Fischer Tb, Frankfurt 1984, S Die Krisis im Leben des Künstler (see note 13), p. 38f. 9

10 etheric »become visible to a heightened consciousness and concern each of us. In the bird being the opposite of our nerve-sensory system appears, in the lion's share that of the rhythmic, in the bull-like that of the metabolic area and in the snake-dragon-scorpion being, underlying poisoning tendencies are visible. It is moving to see how Steffen deals with this experience: “I manage to incorporate the experience into my will and to repeat it on my own initiative. That means being able to see me for who I really am and driving safely with it. [...] Before this knowledge of essence, everything that nature promises in terms of joie de vivre disappears, as does all the consolation that human words give. Even ordinary science loses its meaning. There is only one thing you can do: bear with yourself. " 15 So the human ego inside the body is constantly in danger of being subjugated or devoured by animals, of losing its power of rulership and thereby dying. One must be aware that this is not a question of physical death, but of the danger of the "second death", of which Apocalypse 16 and Francis of Assisi already speak in his Canticle of the Sun, death of the soul. This second death concerns the ego in the etheric or life body, in which the four animals want to rule illegally as "counter-images of the life forces". But something else comes into consideration: In its feelings, the ego has the ability to promote or hurt its environment: “Always aim to recognize the world, to penetrate characters, philosophies, arts and myths, cosmic ones and to understand earthly events, that makes you healthy. Hatred, disgust, aversion, disgust and other negative feelings ultimately lead to failure to understand 15 Altmann's memoirs from the hospital, Dornach 1956, p. 148f. 16 See Rev. 2, 11; 20, 6; 20, 14 (the second death, the lake of fire); 21, 8 October

11 their origin. They are masked sufferings, they carry death within them, they spread darkness. " 17 This failure to understand, to perceive this darkness everywhere, in things - which can no longer reveal their paradisiacal origin - leads to the experience: «From now on I had to see death in every thing. At times it seemed to me as if a skeleton was standing next to me ». 18 Or he remarks to himself and to his fellow human beings: "I had recognized how death works in people and believed that I would perish under the force of this insight". 19 Here the threat from the four-animal on the one hand and the danger of suffocating mentally in what has become and frozen, on the other hand, as two of the three big T's - death, tyrant and beast - of which Steffen repeatedly speaks: the beast and death. 20 The animal wants to be tamed and death becomes the occasion to create life. 21 Steffen gives himself a very precise account of the effect on others: «The one who knows does not take a step forward without overcoming something evil within himself. He has to admit that he cannot always know everything about the part that he himself has in the hopelessness, fatigue, misfortune, illness and death all around. He tells himself that he must have done or could still do all the wrongdoings that are possible on earth. A deeply hidden fear and a secret inclination in his soul warn him: This dark alley can 17 The Crisis in the Life of the Artist (see note 13), S Encounters with Rudolf Steiner (see note 12), p. 51; see: From Georg Archibald's curriculum vitae and posthumous writings, Dornach 1950, p. 217f. 19 autobiographical sketch. In: Albert Steffen, for the 50th birthday. Albert Steffen-Heft of the magazine "Anthroposophie", Stuttgart,, S Among other things in: Seeker after oneself, (1931) Dornach 1977, p. 177f .; Goethe's Geistgestalt, (1932) Dornach o. J. (1970), p. 12; The fall of the Antichrist, (1928) Dornach 1979, p. 43ff .; Spirit knowledge, God's love, Dornach 1949, p. 209ff .; Altmann's memoirs from the hospital, Dornach 1956, S cf. «Death is your trick to have a lot of life». Goethe, writings on the theory of nature and science, fragment on nature. 11

12 devour you, this hooting crowd carry you away, this trial convince you that the other is a culprit, but you? " 22 Such careful attention to one's own soul impulses leads to the awakening of a highly sensitive conscience 23 - this I-instance in the etheric body, grown up through the incarnations - and from here to the experience that characterizes all truly wise men 24: «This is an expansion of human knowledge one that shows that you are jointly responsible for everything. " 25 Responsibility can only be assumed by an I who is "master of his house", who "rides" on his quadruped, that is, who is free (at least at certain times). If you now think of the beautiful sentence that Steffen wrote in his diary as a Tertian: "There is a lake in space into which souls rise after death and from which they return" 26, then you have a picture of where you come from of the ego from a great ego, for the essential connection of the ego with the human ego. Therefore, in responsibility, one's own ego and the human ego touch each other; one could also say that the free ego experiences its origin and the participation in the ego-substance of the whole of humanity in joint responsibility. How does Steffen find his way out of this abysmal crisis? Immediately after the passage already quoted: "I had recognized how death works in people and believed that I would perish under the force of this insight," he writes: 22 Altmanns Memoirs from the hospital, Dornach 1956, S Goethe should too have said that he feels capable of any crime except lies and envy. See also: Spirit-Knowledge, God-Love, Dornach 1949, p. 42; Die Mission der Poesie, Dornach 1962, p. “In sleep, however, when ordinary consciousness is extinguished (that is, during a third of one's entire life), this higher self [the ego that remains at its highest potential at the beginning of human life] shines into it in everything that one has experienced during the day and measures it against one's own light. As a result of these unconscious night experiences, moral impulses grow during the day. Conscience speaks from these regions. " Goethe's Geistgestalt, (1932) 2nd ed., Dornach o. J. (1970), S See, among others. ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY, The city in the desert (La Citadelle), Düsseldorf Altmanns memoirs from the hospital, Dornach 1956, S Cf. also: The mission of poetry, Dornach 1962, S The artist between west and east, Zurich / Leipzig 1925, S The diary entry, which has not been preserved in the original, but handed down by Steffen, dates from 1901/02. 12th

13 “Two people met me whose lives disproved my condition. One taught me again in goodness, the other to believe in beauty in people. I want to remember both of them in silence. Later I was allowed to encounter the truth in people. Plato saw the good, the true, the beautiful as ideas. I saw these three in life. " 28 Human words, spoken or written, are insubstantial in relation to such experiences, “smoke and mirrors”, but what a person lives has the power to give Steffen back the trust in life. Because only life itself can refute death. Plato's idea show alone would not have helped Steffen. At that time, in November 1906, he knew no one who could have grasped this experience. Those two people mentioned above, who exemplified beauty and goodness for him, probably gave him back his belief in life, but he had to work out the essentials alone. 29 A friend, whom he hinted at, referred him to Rudolf Steiner, from whom he then heard a lecture in the spring of 1907. Until then he knew neither his "How to get knowledge of higher worlds", nor his "Theosophy". Not until 1910 did he seek a conversation with him, in which he reported, among other things, about that four-animal experience. The 1924 diary says: “At that time he referred me to the Gospel of John. Meditating, I felt the real love for words. " 30 In this respect, he was completely left to himself for almost three and a half years. 27 For the three personalities see: Notes and studies on the life's work of Albert Steffen, Heft 2/3, Dornach 1986, p. 47ff. and also there note see note cf.: From Georg Archibald's curriculum vitae and posthumous writings, Dornach 1950, S: Georgs inneres wrestling, whether he could tell the dancer Isa - who is the archetype of the friend who modeled his beauty - of his imaginations . The latter do not refer to the "four animals", but the problem is the same. 30 See also: Encounters with Rudolf Steiner, (1926/1955) 3rd edition, Dornach 1975, S. An interesting aspect on this: Life story of a young person, (1928) 2nd edition, Dornach o. J. (1955) , P. 82ff .: "The meaning of the carnival". 13th

14 «The experience where you face yourself, where no one judges nor is judged other than your own self, it tells you which direction you have to take from now on: I change the way not because I have sunk, but because I do wants to rise. I stand in front of the gate of the spiritual world when I call on the human ego. " 31 Albert Steffen now stands at the age of almost twenty-two on the threshold of the spiritual world. And it is the self that shows him the way! This inner security - now apart from the unity of all ego-substance indicated above - is so astonishing that it can induce one to investigate whether its foundation was not already laid in youth. You come across the following childhood experience: “Once, when I was almost 7 years old, [...] I walked into the kitchen, covered in snow dust, raised my hands and shouted: Clean me up! - when a dog rushed at me, put its paws on my shoulders and bit my right cheek terribly. That dog was called Medor and he bit a capital M on my cheek. I still remember being led into a room, I can still see the curved needles in the white basin that was filled with a light ruby-red liquid, and I still remember the pride I took on not making a sound, when you did the eight stitches. There were eight. I still remember how proud I was of this number. Then I was taken to my parents' house. Because all of this happened in my grandfather's house when my parents were drinking the black coffee there. So it must have been Sunday. I was sick for several months and even near death for a time because I got lysol poisoning. At that time I was bought pictures from the life of Jesus 32 that made a strange impression on me. These were the first pictures on which noble people, men and women, 31 Altmanns Memoirs aus dem Krankenhaus, Dornach 1956, p. 150f. 32 It is probably the then widespread picture Bible by Schnorr von Carolsfeld. 14th

15 were depicted, and I still remember that for weeks I couldn't feel anything other than these noble shapes, these wonderful colors. How the Lord stooped, how he walked, how he spread his hands, how he ruled the water, how he wept, was tortured, crucified and rose, all of this had to be consumed so tirelessly by my children's eyes. And so the deepest humanity was dearest to a child here, that which preoccupied him most, that which seemed to him the truest of everything that had ever happened. Inner realities spoke to him for the first time, and he received them with the unmistakable feeling of the child. Just like at the time in my 7th year, after I was soon sunk into a deep cosmic night, I absorbed this new splendor like the rising of the sun, like the beginning of a new event, as something new, as something that was for me the sunniest, the sweetest, the most life-fulfilling, was what whole northern peoples had once absorbed Christianity. If I hadn't taken up this life back then, so close to death, wouldn't I be completely lost in death? Who brought me the pictures? I dont know. But I want to be grateful to him. I want to be grateful to the person whom the pictures represented. " 33 At the age of seven he encounters evil from the outside, as the animal penetrates and bites him; the twenty-one year old experiences the animal inside and the danger of being devoured by him. At that time he was close to physical death, now he is facing the second death. 34 In his childhood, the images give him a glimpse of true humanity and help to heal; now the just awakened ego experiences itself in connection with the human ego as the force that can bring about a change in the past. It is as if fate had given him two landmarks on which 33 He entered this memory in retrospect on September 18, 1911 in his diary and incorporated it into his novel: Die Renewerung des Bundes, (1913) 4th edition, Dornach undated [1950], S cf. note 15 and RUDOLF STEINER: Die Apocalypse des Johannes. Lecture of June 29, 1908 in Nuremberg (GA 104). 15th

16 let us experience human existence so archetypally that from now on he can only feel as an I-person if he knows himself to be in harmony with the forces of becoming. Now what is it when he seeks to transform the "archetype of the human being, the Sphinx"? In his first lecture at the Goetheanum he says: «We must become human not only in appearance, but also in being. The Sphinx has a human head, which means: The human being is there as such, insofar as he: I am! says. Insofar as he thinks, feels and desires, he is first an eagle, a lion, a bull and a serpent. The ego must be able to fly with the eagle, ride with the lion, plow with the bull, and be able to heal with the snake. If the ego can be made into a cognizant, a ruler, a worker and a doctor in this way, something peculiar happens to what is Sphinx in man. The eagle becomes the bearer of truth, the lion the bearer of the beautiful, the bull the bearer of good and the snake the bearer of recovery. The poison of the snake, which is the symbol of the doctor, becomes an antidote. [...] One should now put oneself in the following mental process: The sphinx is in our spiritual vision. Thinking, feeling and desire and what has made the ego its own are represented as eagles, lions, bulls and human faces. If we are able to completely impress the ego on the other soul activities, if we bring it not only to ego-consciousness, but to ego-will, to ego-power and ego-control, then the eagle, lion and bull parts of the sphinx are transformed in human formations. The animals flee, they escape our vision of the spirit, they go far out, they suddenly stand in the vault of heaven, and we recognize cosmic forces in them. It is the images of the zodiac that are drawn around the universe as a belt. We now know that heaven with all its activities is in us. He built our shape. In the middle of these zodiac images, however, in the center of the circle that they form, we see the figure who has developed the I in the highest perfection, Christ, who has humanity as I through all sufferings, through the martyrdom of the most terrible torments, by death 16

17 on the cross. We see the Shepherd in the midst of the flock. Christ is the right shepherd. He helps us to protect, control and instruct the animals that work in us. He teaches us the right service. He is the one who moves the aeons around him, who rotates the whole universe in the round, who could build himself up because he rules the forces that descend on us from the universe, who could therefore rise and who also lead us to resurrection helps. " 35 Here the poet has found the way from the soul and spirit experience to a comprehensive picture which he paints before us in words.The primer consists of inner struggles in despair and renunciation. But they are the prerequisite for seeing the highest self. Signposts and ways. (Methodical) Me and you Steffen once describes the spirit of a poet as the “gateway to heaven” through which the living and the dead can pass, 36 encouraged or inhibited by their being. From his school days he himself lived in this way with the greats of his time and their predecessors and followed their spiritual paths, 37 as his first novel shows. In "Ott, Alois und Werelsche" - before the time of the four-animal experience - one of the three friends, the hunchback painter Ott, suffers from his loneliness and otherness - which he experiences as ugliness - that he deals with suicidal thoughts: 35 The crisis in the life of the artist, (1922) 2nd edition, Zurich-Leipzig 1925, p. 39ff. - See also Steffen's diary entry from June 4, 1958 in: Goetheanum 70 (1991), S Wildeisen, (1929), Dornach o. J. (1969), p. 268f. (using the example of Tolstoy). 37 Since Berlin also in dead ends to alleviate the consequences for the poets and their students. See the previous note. 17th

18 «The painter read Pascal's biography and felt remorse and shame for his unruly behavior, which was actually only caused by thoughtlessness. Suicidal thoughts are more likely to be suicidal thoughtlessnesses. He saw the great people in front of him and was amazed: How can you think of yourself and still in such a petty way as I, when your life stands before us so brightly? Is it possible? I mention a name quietly, shyly, and it becomes divine all around. I see the best person with the face of his soul in front of me. I see the bravest with an overwhelming smile, I see the richest and he gives me everything, I see you laughing so happily, so seriously, so savingly, and I have to stay small. It is not possible. - Do you want to be patient again? They looked: What guarantee do you give? I have no other than to name your names: Jesus, Pascal, Dante, Mirandola, Shakespeare, Goethe, and then that your world will open up before me like a charm. " 38 So the Ottsche part of Steffens lives with those named as intellectual contemporaries in a reverent and direct conversation. 39 This concreteness may be astonishing, but becomes understandable when one remembers that Steffen only wants to allow experience into his poetry, and must indeed be described as a realist in the field of the sensible, the soul and the spiritual. 40 He lets the worlds of these personalities flow into him, lives and breathes in them, expands the soul beyond egoity 38 Ott, Alois and Werelsche, (1907) 4th ed., Dornach 1987, p. 140 (cf.; earlier ed .: Part II, Chapters 1-6). 39 «To give oneself to the poet means to think in his spirit, to enjoy and to suffer, to have eyes and to love. There is no other way to absorb a book. So the poets are our greatest life transformers. " In: Therapeutische Dichtung, Heft 3, Dornach 1973, p. 27: Excerpt from the spring diary On the "spiritual contemporaries" see Reisen hüben und drüben, Dornach 1963, p. 189; as a quote also in: Notes and studies on the life's work of Albert Steffen. Book 1, Dornach 1986, p. 3f: "It is still a rare ability today", which shows how much Steffen consciously cultivated this kind of coexistence; in terms of time, even from school. (Cf. Albert Steffen, Zum 50. Geburtstag [see note 19], p. 30, and: Das Albert Steffen-Buch, [see note 7] p. 9f.) 40 It is not the place here, this in the Evidence for individual items arises naturally from the style of the quotations and the biographical context described. 18th

19 and thus develops the ability to experience the ego of another person - which is only possible with love - to find the way to him and to be able to linger in him. An exercise in the sense of self right from the moment you transfer to grammar school in Bern. 41 How such practice expands is shown six years later in a diary from his time in Munich, in which he put down a self-reflection on his 28th birthday: “If you love, you capture another self in your own mind of your own free will. To get from an ego to a you without losing your own ego, that is an act of love. And that's how you love all things. In the work the I who created this work. In nature the deity who created it. The free self in man. In loving nature, we love the Godhead's I, which without our love has no self-confidence. We turn the growth of the plants in our self into a feeling of love. We pour our selves into all the laws of nature. Stone, plant and animal get I-consciousness in us. Even the stars, the worlds. We move from one subtle I experience to another. We are not allowed to take a break. We always have to create the I-becoming of the whole world. The whole microcosm has to be experienced as I in us. That was the act of Jesus. He received the Christ in himself through baptism. This is how we go through nature, from tree to tree, from animal to animal. We always feel differently in our self to wake up. We are getting closer and closer to each other. We have to feel the people in us more and more without losing our own selves. No, the main condition for this experience is that our ego rests firmly on itself, does not need any authority, no exterior to feel and to educate itself, to know its way. It has to be all on your own. Only then can it be done in freedom. 41 After he had failed the entrance examination and was only classified in the fourth instead of the tertia. The resulting "self-imposed solitude was difficult to bear. Poets comforted me. " Autobiographical sketch (see note 19), p

20 feel a different self in oneself. Only then can it enter into a love relationship with the other person. [...] And in order to achieve this strong self-supporting strength, one thing is enough, and that is the belief in the self, in the divinity of the self, in the goal of the self, which must arise in me, in the Christ in me. But it has to arise in my heart. [...] Every I seeks the Christ within. If everyone assumed that from the other, if this world goal were known! Only the Christ-filled self cannot fall, be destroyed by anything. As long as a person is still falling, he cannot unite with the Christ. He can't because he doesn't believe in him. I have to B. think such an event in my soul: Christ drives the traders like cattle out of the temple. I have to think of this as an image in my heart, as a soul process. I have to let Christ win. 42 I must feel him victorious, feel at the stroke of my blood, and he cleanses my blood. Or I have to carry the image of the resurrection within me. Then I really consciously connected with the immortal. And so there are countless pictures. But I must never lose my own self. Everything has to take place in my soul. I want to love other people. I achieve this love by adoring and wearing Christ, who is dying for every human being, in my self. " 43 Here, Steffen is really concerned with the connection between his self and Christ. He brings up the strength to let the "Christ conquer"; he does not ask passively that faith may be given to him, but rather struggles concretely to let the Christ be present and effective in him. How difficult this is can be shown in a little poem: 42 emphasis by A. M. All other emphasis by Steffen. 43 Diary (Munich, on his 28th birthday). In: Notes and studies on the life's work of Albert Steffen, Book 1, Dornach 1986, p. 17f. 20th

21 You look so crazy, so hopeless, why, why? Oh tell it, oh dear it.Christ in me - it's so difficult. He walks around: I am his cross. 44 The new experience in nature After Steffen told in the “Autobiographical Sketch” about the four-animal experience and the three people whose “lives refuted his condition”, he continues: “When I came to Munich in 1908 and was walking in the English Garden Nature met me transformed. She no longer sighed. Her ghost came up to me and kissed me. I can call it that. For example, if I looking at a tree, I was penetrated by an incorruptible power that was not touched by transience. I could live outside of what is mortal in an Eternal. " 45 In “The Renewal of the Bund” he describes this experience in more detail: 44 Wegzehrung, (1921/1924) 6th edition, Dornach 1983, S The poem appears on in the diary, so it was written long after the 1912 passage. When it comes to dealing with motifs in his inner life, the time of origin is of little importance because Steffen usually lives and works with them for many years before he presents them to the public in a designed form. 45 Autobiographical sketch (see note 19), p

22 «Do you feel these forces slumbering around you? In these mats 46 there is a sleeping spirit that waits to draw into people's hearts and there to become healing love. How wonderful it must be to be united with the beings who magically conjure up the green vegetation! Such friends will all be human one day 47. Yes, you and I and everyone yearn to get together, however much we think we are enemies. Let's go through the same forest every day. The forest sends the same mighty love into our hearts every day. People should know that. Don't they feel, if they only selflessly listen, beings who send their love to them through the flowers and herbs? Doesn't it stir in them? Do you really not feel it? I have a heavenly taste in my mouth. Oh, can I dress him in words! Yes, there are such beings. It is the beings who gave up life out of loyalty to the earth. You have a guide who is from the sun. If we follow him, then we will have the power to give our love to people through the linden tree, oh how its crown becomes a splendid cathedral! through the crocus, what love glances flow inexorably from his eye! " 48 In our prosaic present one could easily find these sentences to be profoundly emotional because we are no longer used to seeing our feelings named in this way. But they come from the time before the First World War, when such a language was quite common and understood accordingly. In the meantime two world wars have passed over us with the abuse of emotional ideals especially during the second, followed by the great disillusionment in the post-war period with the reconstruction, the famous sixties up to the postmodern. 49 Be 46 Bern German expression for “meadows”. 47 It is felt as if from the spirit of the third petition of the "Our Father": "Thy kingdom come". 48 Die Renewerung des Bund, (1913) 4th ed., Dornach o. J. [1950], S Cf. on this in general KARL-MARTIN DIETZ, Anthroposophy in the postmodern age. In: Die Drei, supplement 3, November 1990, p. 50ff. 22nd

But if one thinks, as Steffen described his work on experiencing nature in 1910, then perhaps an approach can be found after all: “Enjoyment is first of all work. How to work What does that mean? It is a matter of reproducing within us the image that is in front of us. But the reproduction of the blue sky, the green breath of the meadows, the charming shapes of the early flowers and the foreboding distant places requires that our soul life become more persistent and tender, loving and lively. It is about self-education. " 50 Now one can again ask: What does it mean to reproduce? Certainly it cannot simply be a question of the formation of a memory image. Steffen aims at something else and describes it further below: “When I notice that a simple flower is suddenly no longer worth anything to me, I will always find one among the people around me whom I treat contemptuously. I no longer understand the flower because I have lost a certain quality. If I succeed in becoming dear to them again, I will again be able to be something to people. And how can I not succeed when I immerse myself in the delicacy of the flower, when I inhale its scent, count its petals and watch its growth? - A friendly feeling is just like a plant. [...] Why shouldn't feelings be looked at and cared for like plants? They exist like this and do not grow or wither any other way. We must care more about them because we are their creators, while the creator of plants is unknown to us. I still remember the day when I noticed this for the first time: Before sunrise I walked with my teacher through a forest, carefully picked a dewed grass and raised it against the dawn. It had panicles that hung full of crystal drops, and I exclaimed delightedly: Whoever could create such structures! You can, said the teacher, 50 Pilgrimage to the Tree of Life, (1925) 5th edition, Dornach 1982, p. 10. (recorded 1910.) 23

24 and it immediately occurred to me: I can do it. Every feeling is a similar structure and I am the only one who can send it into the world. It is true that relatives are brought forth by other people, but this one only by me. This one should therefore be as beautiful as possible. I had recognized myself as a creator and knew that this creativeness cannot be taken away from anyone. [...] It is not because of me that I want feelings, not to enjoy them, but to produce something that can be called beautiful, to create little works of art every hour and every day. " 51 If such creativity also leads to supernatural experiences - as the above passage from the novel suggests - Steffen would have found a way that everyone can go. Quite early - it can be proven that Steffen deals with Goethe and finds in him the thinker who, with his theory of metamorphoses and colors, creates the entrance gates for him to experience the Christ being in nature. He says of the former: “But how amazed I was when I read Goethe's Metamorphosis of Plants for the first time and found this eternal, which I grasped emotionally, described as the archetype, as the entelechy, as the true Proteus, who is in forms hide and reveal. " 52 This cleared the way for him to consciously grasp the feeling and to train it on the phenomena. Corresponding experiences are later incorporated into the poetry, for example in the novel "Sibylla Mariana": 51 Ibid. P. 19f. 52 And continues: “And how my astonishment turned into delight when I saw the method used by the researcher Goethe to grasp and comprehend this supersensible, epistemologically founded and continued by the editor of Goethe's natural science: Rudolf Steiner! » Autobiographical sketch (see note 19), S cf. also: The crisis in the life of the artist, (1922) 2nd edition, Zurich-Leipzig 1925, p, and: The artist and the fulfillment of the mysteries, (1928) Dornach 1964, p. 262ff. 24